I’ve been in the health and care sector for 23 years. I used to work in factories but due to ill health, I became a care assistant in a nursing home. When I later qualified as a nurse, I returned to care homes as I knew it was a role that would challenge and stretch me.

I’m proud of the work we do in this sector. The feeling of pride comes when you’re accepted into someone’s family and they trust you. It’s a huge privilege if I can make the end of someone’s life as pain-free as possible and reassure their family.

My relationship with the NMC

I think the NMC needs to do more for people like me out in the private sector. Care home nurses often feel forgotten and left out. Everything focuses on the NHS.

They need to mention us more and work with us more. Nurses in care homes do a really good job. It’s not just making cups of tea – you need to have a huge amount of knowledge and skill because you support people with a wide range of care needs, and you support their families during really difficult times.

We had an agency nurse here once. Her immediate reaction to me was ‘I think you’re wasted in a nursing home’. So during that shift I showed her some of the work I was doing. By the end of it she recognised how much I had to do and even apologised for what she’d said.

What matters to me

It’s important for me to feel safe within my role – to be supported. That goes across from the NMC, to my union, management and directors.

There are so many cuts to staffing now that for the first time in my career I feel alone. I want to know I can go to work with the support behind me. To be protected and not forgotten.